Author Topic: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"  (Read 6989 times)

IolarCoisCuain

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2010, 01:19:52 PM »
Hardy and Deiseach have summed it up. Players don't live in bubbles. They live in and come from cultures. Some have winning cultures, some have losing. Deiseach's grim image of climbing over the bodies of the dead is the same in Mayo. The vague sense of doom hangs heavy in the air. And pretending it isn't there won't make it go away.

Hardy's comments about the Meath-never-bet mentality being underground but not extinct is interesting, especially in the light of the game in August between Mayo and Meath. No-one in Mayo doubted that Mayo would beat Meath that day. Confidence was high. And even watching the Meath players during the warm-up it struck me that they were men who weren't looking forward to events.

And after fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, Mayo hadn't torn into them, and you could see Meath growing in confidence as the game went on, while Mayo started to implode. By the end, Meath were in full sail, popping them over for fun while the Mayomen looked at their boots.

And what I'm wondering is: if the situation had been reversed, if Mayo had been the underdogs in that game and Meath Provincial Champions, would Meath still have found a way to win even though they weren't playing badly? Would Mayo have been able to take their chance the way that Meath were able to take theirs, when it arose?

You can break losing traditions, lose winning traditions, a whole host of things. But you have to be aware that they are there, and that you need to keep the fire glowing the tradition helps you, and stamp it out if it's destroying you.

Farrandeelin

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2010, 08:56:17 PM »
Quote
But feck it, we'll have fun trying

Yes, it's gotten to the stage where I actually have realised this will my mantra anymore!
The woman in red has the car parked on the slope.

Farrandeelin

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2010, 10:31:50 PM »
What about the Cavan phenomenon?? In days of yore they were feared throughout Ulster. Not anymore. What has gone wrong with the 'Cavan tradition'??
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IolarCoisCuain

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2010, 11:03:30 PM »
What about the Cavan phenomenon?? In days of yore they were feared throughout Ulster. Not anymore. What has gone wrong with the 'Cavan tradition'??

Do you know Farrrandeelin, I don't think there's a bigger mystery in the GAA than what happened to Cavan. How did they fall so quickly, so far, and why, apart from the flash in the pan of 1997, haven't they come back? The book on what happened Cavan could be one of the greatest GAA books ever written.

INDIANA

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2010, 11:08:23 AM »

And the folk memory is strong enough that if/when we assemble a team capable of challenging for honours, it will still be a powerful factor in Croke Park in a big game, even between two sets of players who will only have read about the eighties and nineties.

It's preserved somewhere in the county mortas cine and once the players come along as they always do, eventually, and the county is once again in Croke Park with 5 minutes left in a tight match it comes back. Down have the same thing. Even Kerry don't faze them when they get their mojo right.

How long does it stay there though? Is it too long for Mayo? Maybe we should just accept this and give up, move on to something else.

I don't think the players buy into it too much - I'd be interested to know who the player in '96 was that Iorlar mentioned above. If a Mayo player was soloing the ball and looking at the scoreboard of course he's going to get the heebie-jeebies-how does he have the time to solo the ball and look at the scoreboard anyway? Especially in '96!

There is the obvious issue of players that have been there before in their careers, and mentally that is going to have an affect and rub of on players but I'm not convinced about Meath players today mentally drawing on players strengths or scenarios from 20 years earlier. Or that when Down come back to the big day they'll have it too, that it's in them

Or maybe I'm ignorant about the whole thing.
[/quote]

Teams can overcome it. But it takes a special crew to do it. if the Dublin team of the 90's can come back from a 4 game defeat to Meath and 2 all-ireland final defeats to do eventually win it anyone can. Takes an incredibly mentally strong team to do it. Mayo are already ahead of 90% of all other counties in terms of ability so in theory it shouldn't be that hard. However I don't think Mortimer and Co will ever win an all-ireland.
I can see Aidan O Shea's vintage winning it. He has a different cut to the players preceeding him. He'll kick doors down rather than waiting for them to open.

We'll see how Dublin get on in the next 2 years. It will actually be a good test of the theory. Does picking inferior players who are mentally stronger a better proposition then going with the best talent alone. We'll see.


Lamh Dhearg Alba

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2010, 12:56:12 PM »
Interesting stuff. People are correct to state that you wont win championships without great players but the mental side of things cant be understated. Tyrone without doubt were mentally weak on the big stage for a long long time, the legacy of a losing tradition in Croke Park. At the start of the previous decade we were the only county to have won All-Ireland at minor and under 21 but not senior. The only team to have appeared in the final of the AI and the League and won neither. Had never beaten a Leinster or Munster side in the Championship. 86 a classic example; Tyrone were the better team for a long spell but when things started to go against them, injuries and decisions etc, they didnt ultimately believe they could win and they folded. Kerry on the other hand were a team past their best but had years of success and tradition behind them. They knew they could win and win they did.

Harte worked hard on this and built a team who did believe in themselves and who were able to look at the Tyrone teams of the past as sides who had taken things on to a certain level and now it was their chance to break down the final barrier. He took defeats like Sligo in 2002 and used them as motivation.

One of my favourite stories from what was been a special era for Tyrone is the 2008 final with Kerry having hit 4 unansewered scores to go a point ahead with 15 minutes to go. According to one of the Kerry players after the Tyrone boys were shouting to each other "cmon boys, we have them, theyre beaten". Tyrone got the last 5 scores of the match. Polar opposite of 1986. History shows you can lose a winning tradition as well but we would hope the lasting legacy of the past decade is that Tyrone people are now growing up used to seeing their teams go to Croke Park and win, and future teams will draw on that and take inspiration from it.

Really hope Mayo can find some inspiration themselves and break their losing cycle. That more than any great weaknesses as players where what saw them hammered in the 2004 and 2006 finals. 

the verger

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2010, 12:59:03 PM »
but don't all counties go through years of famine Kerry went 11 years, Kilkenny from 1983 to 2000 only won 3 hurling titles and in 2000 Cody was going for 3 in a row of defeats, Tipp the same not a lot in the last 30 years, Galway in hurling 3 wins in near a century. We could go on and on but at the end of the day whether you have tradition or not if a  good bunch of players comes together at the same time and with the right guidance anthing should be  possible. 

Lamh Dhearg Alba

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Re: Going back to Swinford shouting "losers losers losers"
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2010, 01:47:58 PM »
but don't all counties go through years of famine Kerry went 11 years, Kilkenny from 1983 to 2000 only won 3 hurling titles and in 2000 Cody was going for 3 in a row of defeats, Tipp the same not a lot in the last 30 years, Galway in hurling 3 wins in near a century. We could go on and on but at the end of the day whether you have tradition or not if a  good bunch of players comes together at the same time and with the right guidance anthing should be  possible.

Id agree that all teams go through lean years but surely thats not really the case with Mayo, they have had teams over the past two decades who should have been good enough to win Sam but fell short. Id argue the same was true with certain Tyrone teams pre 2003. Then again surely the "right guidance" you mention would include making sure the team has the mental strength required to get over the line.